Sisely Dillingham

Written by Sisely Dillingham

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Panzerschreck, also known as the “Tank Terror” in English, is a formidable weapon that played a significant role during World War II. Designed by the German army, it was an anti-tank rocket launcher specifically created to counter the heavily armored tanks of the Allied forces. The Panzerschreck proved to be highly effective, delivering a devastating blow to enemy tanks and armored vehicles.

In this article, we will explore 16 fascinating facts about the Panzerschreck, shedding light on its development, specifications, and its impact on the battlefield. From its unconventional design to its powerful ammunition, we delve into the details of this legendary weapon that struck fear into the hearts of enemy tank crews. So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of the Panzerschreck – a weapon that left an indelible mark on the history of warfare.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Panzerschreck, developed during World War II, was a powerful anti-tank rocket launcher with the ability to penetrate thick armor, making it a formidable weapon on the battlefield.
  • Despite its historical significance and rarity, the Panzerschreck remains highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, and has made appearances in various films, video games, and pop culture references.
Table of Contents

Origins of the Panzerschreck

The Panzerschreck, which translates to “tank fright” in English, was developed by the Germans during World War II as an answer to the increasing armored threat on the battlefield.

Design and Functionality

The Panzerschreck was a shoulder-fired rocket launcher that utilized a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead to penetrate thick armor. It had a simple yet effective design and could be operated by a single soldier.

Development and Production

The Panzerschreck was developed in 1943 and produced by various German manufacturers, including the renowned company Rheinmetall-Borsig AG.

Anti-Tank Capability

The Panzerschreck had the ability to penetrate up to 200mm of armor, making it a formidable weapon against enemy tanks and armored vehicles.

Range and Accuracy

The effective range of the Panzerschreck was approximately 150 meters, with a maximum range of around 600 meters. While not the most accurate weapon at longer distances, it was still a significant threat to enemy armor.

Reload Time

Reloading the Panzerschreck took some time, as each round had to be individually loaded into the launcher. This made it essential for soldiers to have a cover or support during the reloading process.

Crew-Served Version

Later in the war, the Germans introduced a crew-served version of the Panzerschreck, known as the Raketenpanzerbüchse This allowed for faster reloading and increased firepower.

Allied Countermeasures

The Allies quickly recognized the threat posed by the Panzerschreck and developed various countermeasures, including tank-mounted flamethrowers and specialized armored bulldozers.

Panzerschreck in Action

Despite the countermeasures employed by the Allies, the Panzerschreck proved to be a formidable weapon on the battlefield, causing significant damage to enemy tanks and creating fear among tank crews.

Influence on Future Rocket Launchers

The Panzerschreck had a significant influence on future rocket launchers, particularly in the design of the iconic American bazooka.

Ammunition Variations

The Panzerschreck utilized different types of ammunition, including the standard Panzergranate 30 that had an effective range of 300 meters and the Panzergranate 60 that reached a range of 500 meters.

Length and Weight

The Panzerschreck had a length of approximately 164 centimeters and weighed around 11 kilograms, making it relatively portable for a weapon of its destructive capabilities.

Post-War Use

After World War II, the Panzerschreck saw limited use in various conflicts and was occasionally utilized by irregular forces due to its availability and effectiveness against armored vehicles.

Collectors’ Item

Today, the Panzerschreck is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts due to its historical significance and rarity.

Film and Pop Culture References

The Panzerschreck has made appearances in various films, video games, and pop culture references, solidifying its place in popular imagination.

The Legacy of Panzerschreck

The Panzerschreck remains an iconic weapon of World War II, representing the innovation and resourcefulness of the German military during the conflict.

So there you have it – 16 fascinating facts about Panzerschreck. From its origins and functionality to its influence and impact, the Panzerschreck continues to captivate the imagination of weapons enthusiasts and historians around the world. Its role in World War II and its legacy make it an enduring symbol of warfare innovation.


In conclusion, the Panzerschreck is a fascinating weapon that has played a significant role in military history. Its effectiveness as an anti-tank weapon is well-documented, and its innovative design and engineering make it a valuable asset on the battlefield. From its origins in World War II to its continued use in modern warfare, the Panzerschreck has proven its worth time and time again.With its powerful rocket-propelled grenades and its ability to penetrate heavily armored vehicles, the Panzerschreck has earned its place as one of the most fearsome anti-tank weapons in history. Its impact on the outcome of battles and its contribution to military strategies cannot be overlooked.Whether you appreciate the historical significance or marvel at its engineering brilliance, the Panzerschreck is undeniably a remarkable weapon that has left an indelible mark on the world of warfare.


1. What is the Panzerschreck?

The Panzerschreck, also known as the “Tank terror” in German, was a portable anti-tank rocket launcher used by the German army during World War II.

2. How effective was the Panzerschreck against tanks?

The Panzerschreck was highly effective against tanks, capable of penetrating even heavily armored vehicles and causing considerable damage.

3. How did the Panzerschreck work?

The Panzerschreck fired a rocket-propelled grenade that was propelled forward by a propellant charge. Upon impact, the warhead would detonate, causing damage to the target.

4. How was the Panzerschreck different from other anti-tank weapons?

The Panzerschreck was distinctive for its reusable launcher and its larger warhead, which gave it greater armor-piercing capabilities than many other anti-tank weapons of the time.

5. Is the Panzerschreck still in use today?

While the Panzerschreck is no longer in active military use, it remains an iconic symbol of World War II and is often featured in museums and historical reenactments.

6. How heavy was the Panzerschreck?

The Panzerschreck weighed approximately 11 kilograms (24 pounds), making it relatively lightweight and easy to transport for infantry units.

7. How many rounds could the Panzerschreck carry?

The Panzerschreck could carry one round at a time, and the launcher had to be reloaded after each shot. Infantry units typically carried additional rounds for fast reloading.

8. Did the Panzerschreck have any drawbacks?

While effective, the Panzerschreck had limited range compared to some other anti-tank weapons, and its firing signature often made the user a target for enemy forces.

9. Were there any other similar weapons to the Panzerschreck?

Yes, the Panzerschreck had a predecessor called the “Raketenpanzerbüchse” or “Panzerschreck 44” and there were other anti-tank rocket launchers developed by different nations during and after World War II.

10. What impact did the Panzerschreck have on military tactics?

The Panzerschreck forced armored units to adapt their strategies and develop new countermeasures, as it posed a significant threat to tanks and other armored vehicles on the battlefield.

Fascinated by World War II weaponry? Explore more intriguing facts about iconic armaments, military tactics, and remarkable soldiers. Uncover little-known details about the global conflict that shaped modern history, delve into the German military's formidable arsenal, including the fearsome 88mm gun, and discover the extraordinary life of Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of WWII. Embark on a captivating journey through military history, where bravery, innovation, and sacrifice intertwined to forge a lasting legacy.

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